The physiological importance of the degradative processes in lysosomes is revealed by the existence of at least 40 distinct inherited diseases, the so–called lysosomal storage disorders. Most of these diseases are caused by a deficiency in a single lysosomal enzyme, or essential cofactor, and result in the lysosomal accumulation of one, or sometimes several, natural compounds. The most prevalent subgroup of the lysosomal storage disorders is formed by the sphingolipidoses, inherited disorders that are characterized by excessive accumulation of one or multiple (glyco)sphingolipids. The biology of glycosphingolipids has been extensively discussed in other contributions during this symposium. This review will therefore focus in depth on (type 1) Gaucher disease, a prototypical glycosphingolipidosis. The elucidation of the primary genetic defect, being a deficiency in the lysosomal glucocerebrosidase, is described. Characterization of glucocerebrosidase at protein and gene level has subsequently opened avenues for therapeutic intervention. The development of successful enzyme replacement therapy for type 1 Gaucher disease is discussed. Attention is also paid to the alternative approach of substrate modulation using orally administered inhibitors of glucosylceramide synthesis. Novel developments about the monitoring of age of onset, progression and correction of disease are described. The remaining challenges about pathophysiology of glycosphingolipidoses are discussed in view of further improvements in therapy for these debilitating disorders.